Expectations. What. A. Son. Of A. Bitch. As a self-diagnosed perfectionist and over-achiever, I admire the laid back types who seem to always “go with the flow”. The ones who don’t get worked up or seem disappointed. The ones that always seem content and happy with whatever comes their way. They seem to not elicit any extreme emotion one way or the next, and they just absorb their surroundings, effortlessly… I notice that I always have a strong reaction to these types of people, and its pure admiration. Having expectations is precisely what I focused on in my youth to escape most of the bad things that came into my life. Bullies at school? Focus on schoolwork. Mom’s never home? Make friends with people who have strong family ties. Can’t afford lunches? Barter and trade with the things you do have. It was those higher standards I set for myself that inspired me to keep moving when I wanted to give up. It was the end goal that made me work just a bit harder than everyone else and to figure things out on my own. It was the expectation that I was worth more that helped me to survive. Once I hit the first step on the ladder the next step was surely to follow.
Sounds super inspiring, doesn’t it?
What my adult self is slowly coming to realize, is that I never set an end point, and that the mindset hasn’t left me. I just keep climbing and climbing and I can’t see where I even began anymore. You see, I can’t see the ground, and it seems I have forgotten what I was even climbing for. Isn’t it true that once we have obtained what we worked for, we become disenchanted and just chase after the next thing? When do we know when we have “officially arrived” at our intended destination, and when do we stop to celebrate and enjoy that? Is the sky really the limit? What happens when we get there?
There is a quote, “What you have now, someone is out there wishing for”. It hits home, because we all, at one time, were likely wishing for all that we have now, and we’ve worked really hard to get here! Would your younger self be proud of you? I bet you all too often forget how far you’ve come. Perfection isn’t attainable, so just be the best you, you can be. So what, if that means you won’t ever be the stuffy big wig in the corner office, or the most macho man in the room. So what if you fit in more with the ladies from “bad moms” and not the leaders of the PTA. Who said standing out isn’t the way to go? More importantly, who told you to listen to it? If people aren’t telling you that you’re different, you’re doing it wrong. Don’t play it safe, play it by YOU. Follow your own code of ethics, make your own rules and seek no one else’s approval but your own.
And when you get rejected for it, time and time again, (because you will) just remember, rejection is simply a redirection. Stay on the path, it is a course correction to your destiny.